A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Election Day

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Now that November 8 has passed, and one of recent history’s ugliest campaign seasons is behind us, we can all let out a “yuge” sigh of relief. That’s what we all wanted, right? No more politics in our daily lives?

Wrong. As much as we all bellyache about the campaign cycle, political ads and robocalls, we apparently can’t get enough. Voter turnout for both parties was higher than ever. Television ratings for the presidential debates broke records left and right. And political contributions continue their upward trajectory. Politics is the American tradition that we all hate to love.

Even the advertising industry was not immune to the political bug this year. Normally, we and the brands we serve try to steer clear of politics at all costs. We’re supposed to put brands in their best light without risk of alienating consumers on any side. After all, it’s a tricky thing to tiptoe through the mud slinging and come out clean, which is why most marketers attach themselves to less divisive current events or just connect more broadly to a political look and feel.

Yet, in 2016, we saw more brands than ever tying themselves to political themes and candidates – and sometimes with effective and/or hilarious results. These four did just that, and, because of it, they earned my votes as some of the best marketing ideas of 2016:

Tecate

360Fly

Esurance

Jet Blue

What’s your take? Did you have a favorite political-themed ad from this campaign cycle? If so, share it in the comments. We’d love to see it.

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About Todd Brashear

Todd's primary responsibility is to continually elevate the creative product of the agency. In the current media environment, that not only includes developing "the big idea" but also exploring unconventional, new opportunities to engage our clients' audiences experientially and digitally. Todd joined MCC in 2000 and has since worked to ensure that the creative department manifests the agency's strong strategic insights into thoughtful, unexpected communications. At MCC, Todd's client experience includes, among others, Market Street supermarkets, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Fujitsu, Raytheon, Alienware, Big Thought and Professional Bank. Specializing in brand strategies, concept development and copywriting, Todd previously worked on a range of B2B and B2C accounts, including Armstrong Floors, ASKO appliances, Motel 6 and Bally Total Fitness. His work has appeared in national television and international print campaigns, and he has won multiple ADDY, Creativity, MarCom, Davey, Stevie and Telly Awards. However, his favorite award is the Nobel. He holds a bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Arkansas. Todd enjoys adventure travel, hiking, kayaking and mountain biking.

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